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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reznor to Fans: “Steal My Music”

posted by on September 19 at 14:37 PM

At a performance in Sydney, Australia three days ago, Nine Inch Nails frontperson Trent Reznor berated the “greedy fucking assholes” at Interscope, his label home for over 10 years, for gouging Australian fans on the price of CDs.

“Has anybody seen the price come down [since the last time I was here]?” he asks.

The crowd responds with a resounding “NO!”

“Well, you know what that means—steal it! Steal away! Give it to all your friends and keep on stealing!”

In the unresolvable, hopelessly vague debate over illegal downloading, music industry fatalism, and artists’ rights, it’s refreshing to see a certified rock star giving a huge middle finger to the pretty hate machine he rode in on.

His rant is somewhat hypocritical—Reznor’s already made his millions, so why fuck it up for the little guy? But it’s also heroic—he’s not encouraging piracy, he’s encouraging his fans to get his music by any means necessary. Doing so from the stage, during his own concert, is the only way to legitimize it (though who knows how much Australian fans had to pay for the show).

Reznor’s relationship with Interscope is unclear—his own Nothing Records was long a subsidiary of Interscope, but some reports claim they split a few years ago. Interscope, however, released this year’s Year Zero. Either way, Reznor is, as usual, forging his own way through the quagmire of the record industry, which is respectable.

Stealing music isn’t wrong if the musician told you to steal it. Right?

RSS icon Comments


He has a seriously bad-ass arsenal of synths, recording equipment, computers, etc... It's irritating.

That's what I'd like to steal.

Posted by Ross | September 19, 2007 3:53 PM

Hey, how come only people with crappy new records want to give them away for free?

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 19, 2007 4:24 PM

this is as self-aggrandizing as abbie hoffman's "steal This Book" (which provided a few helpful hints in my early 20s, notably like .... yeah, like i'm tellin).

trivia: An accidental theft of deleuze an Guattarti's "1000 Plateaus" from the undergrad library at the time of hoffman's bookawareness. It got camouflaged amongst my cadre of books, honest, the book is ok, total of 20% read, notably i can tell recommend the chapter on BwO (ask Charles), but still not worth owning imo. anyway, when i sent away for my transcript to add credits to SCCC to transfer stuff, i was denied! i have a library fine of over 1000 dollars!

you do know that Trent comes from the Reznor heating unit family fortune, dont you/

Posted by June Bee | September 19, 2007 4:26 PM

I'd be more impressed if he'd simply commented on the subject, instead of going on a headline-generating onstage rant about it.

Posted by randy | September 19, 2007 4:31 PM

al jourgensen has repeatedly told his fans if they want to own the first ministry album, "with sympathy", they should steal it so the label doesn't make any money from it. so now, not only has reznor stolen al's sound, he's now also stolen his idea of having his fans steal his music.

Posted by brandon | September 19, 2007 6:13 PM

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